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As the third edition of the Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals is released with the latest recommendations for the prevention and management of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), a new approach to reporting HAIs is just beginning to unfold. This next generation of HAI reporting will be fully electronic and based largely on existing data in electronic health record (EHR) systems and other electronic data sources. It will be a significant change in how hospitals report HAIs and how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies receive this information. This paper outlines what that future electronic reporting system will look like and how it will impact HAI reporting.
To evaluate the incidence of a candidate definition of healthcare facility-onset, treated Clostridioides difficile (CD) infection (cHT-CDI) and to identify variables and best model fit of a risk-adjusted cHT-CDI metric using extractable electronic heath data.
We analyzed 9,134,276 admissions from 265 hospitals during 2015–2020. The cHT-CDI events were defined based on the first positive laboratory final identification of CD after day 3 of hospitalization, accompanied by use of a CD drug. The generalized linear model method via negative binomial regression was used to identify predictors. Standardized infection ratios (SIRs) were calculated based on 2 risk-adjusted models: a simple model using descriptive variables and a complex model using descriptive variables and CD testing practices. The performance of each model was compared against cHT-CDI unadjusted rates.
The median rate of cHT-CDI events per 100 admissions was 0.134 (interquartile range, 0.023–0.243). Hospital variables associated with cHT-CDI included the following: higher community-onset CDI (CO-CDI) prevalence; highest-quartile length of stay; bed size; percentage of male patients; teaching hospitals; increased CD testing intensity; and CD testing prevalence. The complex model demonstrated better model performance and identified the most influential predictors: hospital-onset testing intensity and prevalence, CO-CDI rate, and community-onset testing intensity (negative correlation). Moreover, 78% of the hospitals ranked in the highest quartile based on raw rate shifted to lower percentiles when we applied the SIR from the complex model.
Hospital descriptors, aggregate patient characteristics, CO-CDI burden, and clinical testing practices significantly influence incidence of cHT-CDI. Benchmarking a cHT-CDI metric is feasible and should include facility and clinical variables.
To examine temporal changes in coverage with a complete primary series of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination and staffing shortages among healthcare personnel (HCP) working in nursing homes in the United States before, during, and after the implementation of jurisdiction-based COVID-19 vaccination mandates for HCP.
Sample and setting:
HCP in nursing homes from 15 US jurisdictions.
We analyzed weekly COVID-19 vaccination data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network from June 7, 2021, through January 2, 2022. We assessed 3 periods (preintervention, intervention, and postintervention) based on the announcement of vaccination mandates for HCP in 15 jurisdictions. We used interrupted time-series models to estimate the weekly percentage change in vaccination with complete primary series and the odds of reporting a staffing shortage for each period.
Complete primary series vaccination among HCP increased from 66.7% at baseline to 94.3% at the end of the study period and increased at the fastest rate during the intervention period for 12 of 15 jurisdictions. The odds of reporting a staffing shortage were lowest after the intervention.
These findings demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccination mandates may be an effective strategy for improving HCP vaccination coverage in nursing homes without exacerbating staffing shortages. These data suggest that mandates can be considered to improve COVID-19 coverage among HCP in nursing homes to protect both HCP and vulnerable nursing home residents.
To evaluate the prevalence of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB), identify hospital-level predictors, and to evaluate the feasibility of an HOB metric.
We analyzed 9,202,650 admissions from 267 hospitals during 2015–2020. An HOB event was defined as the first positive blood-culture pathogen on day 3 of admission or later. We used the generalized linear model method via negative binomial regression to identify variables and risk markers for HOB. Standardized infection ratios (SIRs) were calculated based on 2 risk-adjusted models: a simple model using descriptive variables and a complex model using descriptive variables plus additional measures of blood-culture testing practices. Performance of each model was compared against the unadjusted rate of HOB.
Overall median rate of HOB per 100 admissions was 0.124 (interquartile range, 0.00–0.22). Facility-level predictors included bed size, sex, ICU admissions, community-onset (CO) blood culture testing intensity, and hospital-onset (HO) testing intensity, and prevalence (all P < .001). In the complex model, CO bacteremia prevalence, HO testing intensity, and HO testing prevalence were the predictors most associated with HOB. The complex model demonstrated better model performance; 55% of hospitals that ranked in the highest quartile based on their raw rate shifted to a lower quartile when the SIR from the complex model was applied.
Hospital descriptors, aggregate patient characteristics, community bacteremia and/or fungemia burden, and clinical blood-culture testing practices influence rates of HOB. Benchmarking an HOB metric is feasible and should endeavor to include both facility and clinical variables.
To evaluate hospital-level variation in using first-line antibiotics for Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) based on the burden of laboratory-identified (LabID) CDI.
Using data on hospital-level LabID CDI events and antimicrobial use (AU) for CDI (oral/rectal vancomycin or fidaxomicin) submitted to the National Healthcare Safety Network in 2019, we assessed the association between hospital-level CDI prevalence (per 100 patient admissions) and rate of CDI AU (days of therapy per 1,000 days present) to generate a predicted value of AU based on CDI prevalence and CDI test type using negative binomial regression. The ratio of the observed to predicted AU was then used to identify hospitals with extreme discordance between CDI prevalence and CDI AU, defined as hospitals with a ratio outside of the intervigintile range.
Among 963 acute-care hospitals, rate of CDI prevalence demonstrated a positive dose–response relationship with rate of CDI AU. Compared with hospitals without extreme discordance (n = 902), hospitals with lower-than-expected CDI AU (n = 31) had, on average, fewer beds (median, 106 vs 208), shorter length of stay (median, 3.8 vs 4.2 days), and higher proportion of undergraduate or nonteaching medical school affiliation (48% vs 39%). Hospitals with higher-than-expected CDI AU (n = 30) were similar overall to hospitals without extreme discordance.
The prevalence rate of LabID CDI had a significant dose–response association with first-line antibiotics for treating CDI. We identified hospitals with extreme discordance between CDI prevalence and CDI AU, highlighting potential opportunities for data validation and improvements in diagnostic and treatment practices for CDI.
During March 27–July 14, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network extended its surveillance to hospital capacities responding to COVID-19 pandemic. The data showed wide variations across hospitals in case burden, bed occupancies, ventilator usage, and healthcare personnel and supply status. These data were used to inform emergency responses.
Using data from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), we assessed changes to intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in capacity varied by hospital type and size. ICU beds increased by 36%, highlighting the pressure placed on hospitals during the pandemic.
Data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC NHSN) were analyzed to understand the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in acute-care hospitals. Descriptive analysis of the standardized infection ratio (SIR) was conducted by location, location type, geographic area, and bed size.
The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) throughout key regions of the United States in early 2020 placed a premium on timely, national surveillance of hospital patient censuses. To meet that need, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), the nation’s largest hospital surveillance system, launched a module for collecting hospital coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) data. We present time-series estimates of the critical hospital capacity indicators from April 1 to July 14, 2020.
From March 27 to July 14, 2020, the NHSN collected daily data on hospital bed occupancy, number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and the availability and/or use of mechanical ventilators. Time series were constructed using multiple imputation and survey weighting to allow near–real-time daily national and state estimates to be computed.
During the pandemic’s April peak in the United States, among an estimated 431,000 total inpatients, 84,000 (19%) had COVID-19. Although the number of inpatients with COVID-19 decreased from April to July, the proportion of occupied inpatient beds increased steadily. COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from mid-June in the South and Southwest regions after stay-at-home restrictions were eased. The proportion of inpatients with COVID-19 on ventilators decreased from April to July.
The NHSN hospital capacity estimates served as important, near–real-time indicators of the pandemic’s magnitude, spread, and impact, providing quantitative guidance for the public health response. Use of the estimates detected the rise of hospitalizations in specific geographic regions in June after they declined from a peak in April. Patient outcomes appeared to improve from early April to mid-July.
Background: Accurate identification of Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) from electronic data sources is important for surveillance. We evaluated how frequently laboratory findings were supported by diagnostic coding and treatment data in the electronic health record. Methods: We analyzed a retrospective cohort of patients in the Veterans’ Affairs Health System from 2006 through 2016. A CDI event was defined as a positive laboratory test for C. difficile toxin or toxin genes in the inpatient, outpatient, or long-term care setting with no prior positive test in the preceding 14 days. Events were classified as incident (no CDI in the prior 56 days), or recurrent (CDI in the prior 56 days) and were evaluated for evidence of clinical diagnosis based on International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) and ICD-10-CM codes and at least 1 dose of an anti-CDI agent (intravenous or oral metronidazole, fidaxomicin, or oral vancomycin). We further assessed the possibility of treatment without testing by quantifying positive laboratory tests and diagnostic codes among inpatients receiving an anti-CDI agent. A course of anti-CDI therapy was defined as continuous treatment with the same drug. Results: Among 119,063 incident and recurrent CDI events, 70,114 (58.9%) had a diagnosis code and 15,850 (13.3%) had no accompanying treatment. The proportion of patients with ICD codes was highest among patients treated with fidaxomicin (82.6% of 906) or oral vancomycin (74.3% of 30,777) and was lower among patients receiving metronidazole (63.3% of 103,231) and those without treatment (29.9% of 15,850). The proportion of events with ICD codes and treatment was similar between incident and recurrent episodes. During the study period, there were ~470,000 inpatient courses of metronidazole, fidaxomicin, and oral vancomycin. Table 1 shows the presence of ICD codes and positive laboratory tests by anti-CDI agents. Among 51,100 courses of oral vancomycin, 51% had an ICD code and 44% had a positive test for C. difficile within 7 days of treatment initiation. Among 1,013 courses of fidaxomicin, 79% had an ICD code and 56% had a positive laboratory test. Conclusions: In this large cohort, there was evidence of substantial CDI treatment without confirmatory C. difficile testing and, to a lesser extent, some positive tests without accompanying treatment or coding. A combination of data sources may be needed to more accurately identify CDI from electronic health records for surveillance purposes.
Background: To provide a standardized, risk-adjusted method for summarizing antimicrobial use (AU), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed the standardized antimicrobial administration ratio, an observed-to-predicted use ratio in which predicted use is estimated from a statistical model accounting for patient locations and hospital characteristics. The infection burden, which could drive AU, was not available for assessment. To inform AU risk adjustment, we evaluated the relationship between the burden of drug-resistant gram-positive infections and the use of anti-MRSA agents. Methods: We analyzed data from acute-care hospitals that reported ≥10 months of hospital-wide AU and microbiologic data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) from January 2018 through June 2019. Hospital infection burden was estimated using the prevalence of deduplicated positive cultures per 1,000 admissions. Eligible cultures included blood and lower respiratory specimens that yielded oxacillin/cefoxitin–resistant Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and ampicillin-nonsusceptible enterococci, and cerebrospinal fluid that yielded SA. The anti-MRSA use rate is the total antimicrobial days of ceftaroline, dalbavancin, daptomycin, linezolid, oritavancin, quinupristin/dalfopristin, tedizolid, telavancin, and intravenous vancomycin per 1,000 days patients were present. AU rates were modeled using negative binomial regression assessing its association with infection burden and hospital characteristics. Results: Among 182 hospitals, the median (interquartile range, IQR) of anti-MRSA use rate was 86.3 (59.9–105.0), and the median (IQR) prevalence of drug-resistant gram-positive infections was 3.4 (2.1–4.8). Higher prevalence of drug-resistant gram-positive infections was associated with higher use of anti-MRSA agents after adjusting for facility type and percentage of beds in intensive care units (Table 1). Number of hospital beds, average length of stay, and medical school affiliation were nonsignificant. Conclusions: Prevalence of drug-resistant gram-positive infections was independently associated with the use of anti-MRSA agents. Infection burden should be used for risk adjustment in predicting the use of anti-MRSA agents. To make this possible, we recommend that hospitals reporting to NHSN’s AU Option also report microbiologic culture results.
Background: The NHSN has used positive laboratory tests for surveillance of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) LabID events since 2009. Typically, CDIs are detected using enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), or various test combinations. The NHSN uses a risk-adjusted, standardized infection ratio (SIR) to assess healthcare facility-onset (HO) CDI. Despite including test type in the risk adjustment, some hospital personnel and other stakeholders are concerned that NAAT use is associated with higher SIRs than are EIAs. To investigate this issue, we analyzed NHSN data from acute-care hospitals for July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. Methods: Calendar quarters for which CDI test type was reported as NAAT (includes NAAT, glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH)+NAAT and GDH+EIA followed by NAAT if discrepant) or EIA (includes EIA and GDH+EIA) were selected. HO CDI SIRs were calculated for facility-wide inpatient locations. We conducted the following analyses: (1) Among hospitals that did not switch their test type, we compared the distribution of HO incident rates and SIRs by those reporting NAAT vs EIA. (2) Among hospitals that switched their test type, we selected quarters with a stable switch pattern of 2 consecutive quarters of each of EIA and NAAT (categorized as pattern EIA-to-NAAT or NAAT-to-EIA). Pooled semiannual SIRs for EIA and NAAT were calculated, and a paired t test was used to evaluate the difference of SIRs by switch pattern. Results: Most hospitals did not switch test types (3,242, 89%), and 2,872 (89%) reported sufficient data to calculate SIRs, with 2,444 (85%) using NAAT. The crude pooled HO CDI incidence rates for hospitals using EIA clustered at the lower end of the histogram versus rates for NAAT (Fig. 1). The SIR distributions of both NAAT and EIA overlapped substantially and covered a similar range of SIR values (Fig. 1). Among hospitals with a switch pattern, hospitals were equally likely to have an increase or decrease in their SIR (Fig. 2). The mean SIR difference for the 42 hospitals switching from EIA to NAAT was 0.048 (95% CI, −0.189 to 0.284; P = .688). The mean SIR difference for the 26 hospitals switching from NAAT to EIA was 0.162 (95% CI, −0.048 to 0.371; P = .124). Conclusions: The pattern of SIR distributions of both NAAT and EIA substantiate the soundness of NHSN risk adjustment for CDI test types. Switching test type did not produce a consistent directional pattern in SIR that was statistically significant.
Background: The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) has used positive laboratory tests for surveillance of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) LabID events since 2009. Typically, CDIs are detected using enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), or various test combinations. The NHSN uses a risk-adjusted, standardized infection ratio (SIR) to assess healthcare facility-onset (HO) CDI. Despite including test type in the risk adjustment, some hospital personnel and other stakeholders are concerned that NAAT use is associated with higher SIRs than EIA use. To investigate this issue, we analyzed NHSN data from acute-care hospitals for July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. Methods: Calendar quarters where CDI test type was reported as NAAT (includes NAAT, glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH)+NAAT and GDH+EIA followed by NAAT if discrepant) or EIA (includes EIA and GDH+EIA) were selected. HO-CDI SIRs were calculated for facility-wide inpatient locations. We conducted the following 2 analyses: (1) Among hospitals that did not switch their test type, we compared the distribution of HO incident rates and SIRs by those reporting NAAT versus EIA. (2) Among hospitals that switched their test type, we selected quarters with a stable switch pattern of 2 consecutive quarters of each of EIA and NAAT (categorized as EIA-to-NAAT or NAAT-to-EIA). Pooled semiannual SIRs for EIA and NAAT were calculated, and a paired t test was used to evaluate the difference in SIRs by switch pattern. Results: Most hospitals did not switch test types (3,242, 89%), and 2,872 (89%) reported sufficient data to calculate an SIR, with 2,444 (85%) using NAAT. The crude pooled HO CDI incidence rates for hospitals using EIAs clustered at the lower end of the histogram versus rates for NAATs (Fig. 1). The SIR distributions, both NAATs and EIAs, overlapped substantially and covered a similar range of SIR values (Fig. 1). Among hospitals with a switch pattern, hospitals were equally likely to have an increase or decrease in their SIRs (Fig. 2). The mean SIR difference for the 42 hospitals switching from EIA to NAAT was 0.048 (95% CI, −0.189 to 0.284; P = .688). The mean SIR difference for the 26 hospitals switching from NAAT to EIA was 0.162 (95% CI, −0.048 to 0.371; P = .124). Conclusions: The pattern of SIR distribution for both NAAT and EIA substantiate the soundness of the NHSN’s risk adjustment for CDI test types. Switching test type did not produce a consistent directional pattern in SIR that was statistically significant.
To describe common pathogens and antimicrobial resistance patterns for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) among pediatric patients that occurred in 2015–2017 and were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
Antimicrobial resistance data were analyzed for pathogens implicated in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated pneumonias (VAPs), and surgical site infections (SSIs). This analysis was restricted to device-associated HAIs reported from pediatric patient care locations and SSIs among patients <18 years old. Percentages of pathogens with nonsusceptibility (%NS) to selected antimicrobials were calculated by HAI type, location type, and surgical category.
Overall, 2,545 facilities performed surveillance of pediatric HAIs in the NHSN during this period. Staphylococcus aureus (15%), Escherichia coli (12%), and coagulase-negative staphylococci (12%) were the 3 most commonly reported pathogens associated with pediatric HAIs. Pathogens and the %NS varied by HAI type, location type, and/or surgical category. Among CLABSIs, the %NS was generally lowest in neonatal intensive care units and highest in pediatric oncology units. Staphylococcus spp were particularly common among orthopedic, neurosurgical, and cardiac SSIs; however, E. coli was more common in abdominal SSIs. Overall, antimicrobial nonsusceptibility was less prevalent in pediatric HAIs than in adult HAIs.
This report provides an updated national summary of pathogen distributions and antimicrobial resistance patterns among pediatric HAIs. These data highlight the need for continued antimicrobial resistance tracking among pediatric patients and should encourage the pediatric healthcare community to use such data when establishing policies for infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.
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